Ask Andy

QUICK TIP

Chrome can be cleaned with aluminum foil dipped in Coca Cola™. Be sure to wad up the aluminum foil, hold over the sink and wipe the chrome. The chemical reaction will get rid of the rust.

Stuck On Hue

Dear Andy, some vandal has Superglue’d the door lock on my new car. Getting into the car is no problem as I use the remote to open the door. The problem comes in the fact that excess glue was allowed to run down the door. I know there are products that dissolve Superglue, but is there anything that does the job without harming the paintwork?

Terry

I must admit, Terry, that I had never considered such a problem in the past. (Most readers who ask about Super Glue want to know how to detach glued fingers or how to separate items put together wrong.) Not knowing the answer to your question, I contacted the experts at Super Glue in the US. Herewith the response from Mary K. Robles, regulatory affairs manager, Super Glue Corp.

Hello Andy,

Super Glue can be very difficult to remove from surfaces or from locks.  For the lock, the best thing is to remove the lock and soak it in acetone. After hours (or a day), begin trying to turn the tumblers. Resoak if necessary and then try to turn again, etc. Repeat this process as needed. For the paint, unfortunately acetone will only soften the outer layer of the glue, which then must be removed physically by brushing, sanding, scraping, buffing, etc. Then reapply the acetone and repeat the removal process as needed. We cannot guarantee that these suggestions will be completely successful or that the paint will not be affected. Inasmuch as Terry’s car is new, he might have his auto dealer touch up any scratched paint.

Regards, Mary

If you plan to follow the above suggestions, Terry, I recommend using the acetone sparingly and with extreme care. Apply only a light layer using a toothbrush or a cotton swab. Let it sit for a brief period, then use a small tool to carefully scrape off the top layer of glue before repeating the process.

Reader Tip

My wife left me recently (that’s not a complaint, Andy. In fact, I guess I’m bragging about it!) But the point is, she was a good housekeeper who kept the place spotless. I’m not nearly so meticulous. But for the bachelors in Pattaya who dislike cleaning as much as I do, I found an easier way to keep my tile floors clean. Instead of lugging around a bucket of soapy water and a mop, as my ex used to do, and spending an hour or so washing the floors every day­­I get by with just sweeping every two or three days. After I sweep, I spray window cleaner on the floor as I wipe down the tiles with a wide floor duster (see photo). I’m done in 10 minutes and the tiles sparkle. Just wanted to share that with your readers (and to brag that I’m free again!)

Oliver

Thank you for the tip, Oliver, which could save time and effort compared to the method used by your ex. However, there is no need to wash a tile floor daily, and certainly not with soapy water (as she did). Most people generally get by simply dry mopping with a duster every day or two, and damp­mopping with plain warm water once a week. No need to spend money on floor cleaners or window spray for regular tile maintenance.

Car Tune Character

Since I’ve lived in Pattaya, Andy, my car has been broken into twice and I had one car that was stolen. All of that in the less than two years I’ve lived here. Friends and neighbors are tired of me singing the same tune. They tell me the problem must be mine because they know of no one else who has been victimized so often, but I don’t know what I can do to discourage thieves. Any suggestions?

John

It would help to know a bit about your habits related to your car, John, so I could refute or confirm what your friends say. But you can make that determination after reviewing these anti­theft tips that may help protect your car in the future.

*Do you park your vehicle in a well­lit, highly visible area? Thieves prefer dark, out­of­sight locations.

*Do you leave your keys in the car? Far too many drivers do. If they’re hanging from the ignition it’s an invitation to robbers. Always take your keys, even if you’re just popping into Seven for a sec.

*Don’t ‘hide’ your keys in or on the car. Which means do not put them above the sun­visor, not in a magnetic key holder, etc.. Thieves know where to look.

*Install a car alarm. Yes, they are often ignored, but thieves find them an inconvenience sometimes, a deterrent other times.

*Use whatever other anti­theft devices you can afford as well (steering wheel lock bar, kill switch, vehicle tracking system, etc.)

*If your car will be unattended for more than a few days, disable the battery.

Green Grass of Home

I missed having a lawn in our yard, Andy, so after 15 years of living here I finally decided to plant some grass. That was a year ago. Most of it is green and still alive, but some areas don’t look so great. I must be doing something wrong. Basically I’m asking for some tips on lawn care.

Harold

Keeping a lawn healthy and green can be difficult even in temperate climates, Harold. In Pattaya it can be a full­time obsession. In addition to problems you may be accustomed to from back home­­like weeds and pests, for example, you also are facing extreme heat, burning sun, extended periods of dry weather alternating with heavy rains, waste from uninvited cats and dogs, a longer bug season and so much more. One of the most common mistakes­­particularly during our prolonged dry season­­is inadequate watering. Proper watering can mean the difference between life and death for your lawn. For optimal results, water once a day, preferably in the early morning. If you don’t like waking up at the crack of dawn to water your lawn you might want to consider installing automatic sprinklers. Another common mistake is not properly sharpening your lawn mower blades. You should do that at least once a year. Sharp blades will cut your lawn cleanly rather than tearing it up. You’ll also want to adjust the height of the blades on your lawn mower. Cutting the grass too low can cause permanent damage to the grass. Taller grass, particularly when the weather is hot and dry, deters weed growth and allows the grass to root deeper into the soil. Also learn to identify the wide variety of lawn pests that invade and attack stems and roots causing damage to the overall health of your lawn. Proper and quick identification and treatment is the only way to prevent disease from spreading.

Closing Line:

A hardware store in Pattaya is giving out batteries free of charge.

­­Handy Andy

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